Wendy Williams Ex-Husband Kevin Hunter Sues Talk Show Production Company for Wrongful Termination

Wendy Williams' husband, Kevin Hunter, filed a lawsuit against her namesake talk show's production company, Debmar-Mercury, on March 1

Wendy Williams' ex-husband, Kevin Hunter, is taking her namesake talk show's production company to court.

In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Hunter is suing Debmar-Mercury for wrongfully terminating him from his longtime role as executive producer on The Wendy Williams Show. The complaint claimed he was fired "on the basis of his marital status, which is barred by the New York City Human Rights Law."

According to the lawsuit, Hunter — whose role on the syndicated series began in 2007 — received a notice from Debmar-Mercury founder Ira Bernstein informing him that his firing was "effective immediately." Hunter claims his employment status changed days after Williams' 2019 divorce filing.

The former couple wed in 1997 and welcomed their son, Kevin Jr., in 2000.

Williams filed for divorce in April 2019 after it was revealed that he fathered a child with his mistress. Their split wasn't finalized until 2020.

"The termination of Plaintiff was based strictly upon Plaintiff's marital status and his impending divorce to the Show's host, ignoring all of the contributions that Plaintiff made to make the Show a success," the filing states. "As a result of Defendants' aforesaid actions and the breach of their agreement with Hunter, the Defendants have been unjustly enriched from Plaintiff's Executive Producer contributions to the Show, as well as enduring Product Integrations engagements Plaintiff has brought to the Show and that the Show has retained."

Hunter's lawsuit also highlights the upcoming changes coming to the talk show.

Kevin Hunter; Wendy Williams
Jennifer Graylock/WireImage; Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Williams' ongoing health issues have prevented her from returning to host her eponymous series, resulting in a series of all-star guest hosts taking over in her absence. After it was announced that The Wendy Williams Show is ending after its current season, frequent guest host Sherri Shepherd was tapped for her own series, Sherri, that will take over Williams' show's time slot.

Citing published reports, Hunter's complaint states "many of the elements" he "helped conceptualize and the product integrations he created" for Williams' show will be incorporated into Shepherd's new series. "Even though The Wendy Williams Show will be over, Defendants will continue to be unjustly enriched by Plaintiff's initial work including his initial concepts created for the Show and Plaintiff's product integration agreements," the document states.

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Hunter also claims Williams' show "never recovered" after his firing, and the production company "underestimated [his] value" to the program.

Additionally, the filing declares Hunter "was an integral part of the inner workings of the Show and Debmar was unable to fill the absence of Plaintiff's departure." Hunter claims that Debmar-Mercury has, therefore, "breached their foregoing agreements" with Hunter by firing him, failing to properly remove his executive producer credit and stopping payments of commissions that are "rightfully payable to him under the Product Integrations Agreement."

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As a result, Hunter seeks "compensatory, punitive damages, an award of costs, interest and attorney's fees, and such other and further relief as this Court deems just and proper." Per the court document, Hunter claims that he has suffered roughly $7 million to $10 million in "economic loss" as a result of his firing.

Like Hunter, Williams has been entangled in a legal battle of her own. She recently sued her bank, Wells Fargo, after they "denied [her] any access, whether online or otherwise, to her financial accounts, assets, and statements," which has prevented her from obtaining "several million dollars."

According to the court filing, the action is tied to the advice of Williams' former financial advisor, Lori Schiller, that Williams "was of unsound mind."

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